Help and advice

Why do Parcelforce Worldwide charge customs clearance fees

If a parcel is received into the UK, either from the EU or Rest of World, addressed to you, we will clear the goods through HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Depending on arrangements with the original sender of the goods, there are two ways in which we will recover these costs:

Delivered Duty Unpaid (DDU)

This is where you as the recipient is liable for paying the relevant import duty, excise duty and VAT, (as determined by HMRC), together with our Customs clearance fee.

We will send you a letter to confirm how to make your payment in order the goods may be delivered (i.e. Delivered Duty Unpaid’). The letter will include a 17-digit reference number which you can use to make the payment. We will deliver your parcel once the charges have been paid. See how to pay a customs charge for more information.

Delivered Duty Paid (DDP)

For certain European services we offer a DDP service, where the original sender (in the EU) will be invoiced to pay the relevant import duty, excise duty and VAT, (as determined by HMRC), together with our Customs clearance fee.

We will also make a charge if we have to hold your parcel whilst Customs process it, so we would recommend that you respond promptly to any Customs queries to avoid these charges. We will not levy a fee for the first 10 days, after 10 days however, storage fees will be charged. For more than 10 and up to 20 working days, - £5.50 per parcel. For each subsequent working day over 20 working days - £1.35 per parcel. All parcels valued at over £900 are placed in secure storage until completion of Customs formalities.

For more information about these fees, please contact our Customer Service Team on 03448 004466  

Under the Union Customs Code (UCC) as of May 2016, goods, regardless of the declared value, entering the UK via post under Inward Processing (IP) must be declared using a Single Administrative Declaration (SAD/C88) customs entry. The company receiving the goods must hold an Inward Processing authorisation from HMRC. In order to facilitate the customs entry Parcelforce Worldwide employ a clearing agent. In this instance the importer will have a PFW Handling Fee charged for the customs entry.

Further details about importing Special Procedure goods via post can be found in Public Notice 3001 which is available on GOV.UK or alternatively, you can contact HMRC at the following address:


HM Revenue and Customs

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